Four new Pokemon manhole covers have appeared in Shimonoseki City in the Yamaguchi Prefecture of Japan. They feature Empoleon, Wailmer, Chinchou, Qwilfish, Ekans, and Koffing. In particular, the municipal government has chosen to display the Ekans and Koffing manhole covers in Ganryu-jima. That is the location of the legendary duel between Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro. [Thanks, Inside Games!]
詳細は、こちらで確認してね！https://t.co/lmHmSMHSkQ #ポケふた #山口県 pic.twitter.com/L5dTXQz8xV
— ポケモン公式ツイッター (@Pokemon_cojp) January 25, 2023
The Japanese names of Jessie and James are Musashi and Kojiro, respectively. They are references to Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro, who are two famous swordsmen from the Tokugawa period. In April 1612, Miyamoto and Kojiro dueled at Ganryu-jima, with Miyamoto emerging the victor. Ekans and Koffing were the partner Pokemon of Jessie and James since the Pokemon anime started airing, though they eventually evolved to Arbok and Weezing. To hammer home the Team Rocket reference, you can see the tip of Meowth’s tail in the Koffing manhole cover.
The Pokemon Company International frequently partnered up with Japanese cities as part of the Local Arts initiative. Fukuoka unveiled manhole covers featuring Pokemon like Dugtrio and Gardevoir in 2021. Meanwhile, Ojiya City decorated the streets with Magikarp, and Hokkaido had lots of Vulpix manhole covers.
You can find the Team Rocket Pokemon manhole covers in Shimonoseki. You can also look at them all, as well as their precise locations, through the Poke Lids website.